Are you aware of the importance of physical therapy when it comes to cardiac health? Do you know how physical therapy can help keep your heart healthy and functioning properly?
Physical activity has long been known to be an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Regular activity helps improve aerobic capacity, lower blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol levels, all of which are important for supporting good cardiovascular health. In addition, numerous studies have revealed that physical activity provides many other health benefits as well.
But what if you find yourself unable to exercise due to some injury or illness? This is where physical therapy comes in; its role in helping people with cardiac ailments is unparalleled. Physical therapists help individuals understand their bodies better so they can safely get active. They also provide education on ways to live with existing medical conditions, such as proper nutrition and stress management strategies. In this article, we will talk about the various ways in which physical therapy supports a healthy heart.
What Are Heart Disease and Heart Failure?
Heart disease and heart failure are two different conditions that can affect the heart. Heart disease is a general term for any condition that affects the heart, while heart failure is a specific type of heart disease in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease and Heart Failure
The signs and symptoms of heart disease and heart failure can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Common signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, swelling in the feet or ankles, and difficulty sleeping.
Heart Disease Risk Factors Within Your Control
Heart disease is a serious condition that can be caused by many factors, some of which are within your control. Risk factors for heart disease that you can control include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption and stress can increase your risk of developing heart disease.
Making lifestyle changes to reduce these risk factors can help you maintain a healthy heart.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
Physical therapy can help people with both heart disease and heart failure. It can help improve the strength and endurance of the heart muscle, as well as improve overall cardiovascular health. Physical therapy can also help reduce symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling in the legs and feet.
Exercises for Heart Disease and Heart Failure
Physical therapists can design an exercise program tailored to each individual’s needs. Generally, aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling are recommended. Resistance exercises such as weight lifting can also be beneficial. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the exercise over time.
In addition to exercise, physical therapists can also provide education on lifestyle changes that can help improve heart health. These may include quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress levels, and getting regular check-ups.
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